Cash remittances sent by Filipinos abroad hit a seven-month high in July, data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed Friday.
Data also showed the cash remittances amounted to $2.99 billion in July 2023, the highest since the $3.16 billion posted in December 2022.
BSP said cash remittances grew 2.6 percent in July 2023 from the $2.92 billion posted in July 2022. Cash remittances were at $2.81 billion in June 2023.
“The expansion in cash remittances in July 2023 was due to the growth in receipts from land-and sea-based workers,” BSP said.
On a year-to-date basis, cash remittances reached $18.79 billion, a 2.9 percent increase from $18.26 billion registered in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, BSP data showed personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) was also at its highest since December 2022.
Personal remittances, which cover cash sent through banks and informal channels as well as remittances in kind, reached $3.32 billion in July 2023, the highest since the $3.49 billion posted in December 2022.
These remittances in July posted a 2.5 percent growth from the $3.24 billion recorded in the same month last year. Personal remittances were at $3.13 billion in June 2023.
“The growth in personal remittances in July 2023 was due to higher remittances sent by 1) land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more and 2) sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year,” BSP said.
Cumulatively, personal remittances reached $20.91 billion in the first seven months of 2023, higher by 2.9 percent than the $20.33 billion recorded in the comparable period in 2022.
BSP said the growth in cash remittances from the United States, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates contributed mainly to the increase in remittances in the first seven months of 2023.
Meanwhile, in terms of country sources, the US posted the highest share of overall remittances during the period at 41.3 percent, followed by Singapore at 6.9 percent; Saudi Arabia, 5.9 percent; and Japan, 5 percent.
“There are some limitations on the remittance data by source. A common practice of remittance centers in various cities abroad is to course remittances through correspondent banks, most of which are located in the US,” BSP said.
Remittances coursed through money couriers, BSP said, cannot be disaggregated by actual country source and are lodged under the country where the main offices are located, which, in many cases, are in the US.
Therefore, the US would appear to be the main source of OF remittances because banks attribute the origin of funds to the most immediate source. The countries are listed in order of their share of cash remittances, i.e., from highest to lowest.
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